Why Atlanta Rapper Miss Mulatto Changed Her Name To Latto

The platinum-selling recording artist once known as Mulatto has officially changed her name. On Monday, rapper Latto debuted her new moniker on music streaming platforms like Tidal, Spotify, and Apple Music as she gears up to release an album on Friday.

For several months, the Clayton County-raised performer has discussed the possibility of changing her stage name as the term “mulatto” is described as offensive.

According to the Pew Research Center, the term  “mulatto” – mulato in Spanish – commonly referenced a person of mixed-race ancestry with white European and Black African roots. However, it was often used in a derogatory fashion during the times of slavery and segregation in America. The root of the word mula, or mule, refers to the offspring of a horse and a donkey. 

In the latest edition of Merriam-Webster, the word is still marked/labeled as “usually offensive.”

The literary trope “tragic mulatto” was born from the word in the early 1840s largely in credit to Lydia Maria Child. “The myth almost exclusively focuses on biracial individuals, especially women, light enough to pass for white,” according to an article by ThoughtCo which explores the history of the trope.

Latto, whose real name is  Alyssa Michelle Stephens, identifies as biracial. Back in 2016, she emerged in the music industry as Miss Mulatto in the first season of Jermaine’s Dupri’s reality competition series on Lifetime, “The Rap Game.”

“I’m passionate about my race. I’m Miss Mulatto. The term mulatto technically is a racist slur. It means someone that’s half Black and half white. So it’s, like, controversial,” she said during her time on the show. “I took that negativity from the word mulatto and now … everybody calls me Miss Mulatto.” 

She was only 15 years old at the time. 

The now 22-year-old “Queen of the South” artist hinted during an interview with HipHopDX at the 2020 BET HipHop Awards that she was thinking about changing her name.

“It is a controversy that I hear and see every day as far as my name goes, so I would be lying to say no I never thought of that. But I can’t say too much … right now, because it’s going to be a part of something bigger,” she told HipHopDX in 2020.

After much social media scrutiny and reflection, the southern lyricist stayed true to her word and revealed that she would change her name in a trending interview with Hot Freestyle back in January.

“You know you might know your intentions, but these are strangers who don’t know you, never even met you in person,” Mulatto expressed in the interview. “So you gotta hear each other out, and if you know those aren’t your intentions and that’s how it’s being perceived, it’s like why not make a change or alter it? For me, it was the name. So now I’m like, ‘OK, my intentions was to never glorify being mulatto.’ So if that’s how it’s being perceived and people think I’m saying, ‘Oh, I’m better because I’m mulatto’ or ‘My personality trait is mulatto’ … then I need to change the matter at hand.”

Latto said she would not just change her social media handles because “that’s not sensitive enough to the subject matter” and she wants “to be able to speak on it” so people can hear her out. She said changing your name in the music industry is no easy feat and it comes with a load of logistics. 

“I want them to also understand that the name change at this level in your career is a big decision,” the 22-year-old rapper said during her Hot Freestyle interview. “Freaking investors, labels, everything … been riding on this name, so it is a big decision … it’s way deeper than a tweet.” 

She made it clear that multiple aspects were involved in the decision and a variety of business partners had a “say so in that decision.”

“It’s not like me being ‘I want to do this’ and then it’s just done,” she said.

The platinum-selling artist made a video post on Instagram Tuesday evening teasing a potential song speaking on the name change. 

“You gotta be strategic with the word choice because it could come off a way that you don’t mean. That’s how I got in this predicament in the first place with the damn name,” she said. “That’s why you gotta be proactive with the word choice … gotta think ahead … my intentions weren’t for the backlash … exactly what I’m saying in the song … intentions weren’t for that.”

The star reached a huge milestone back in March when her single “B*tch From Da Souf” received a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

“I was the first solo female rapper from ATL to go gold,” she penned in a tweet. “Now I’m the first solo female rapper from ATL to go platinum too!”

Last year, Latto appeared in Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s controversial hit music video “WAP.” She also collaborated with Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane on her song “Muwop” which went gold.

Source: 11Alive News

NBA Veteran Jeremy Lin On Being Called ‘Coronavirus’ On The Court; Talks How Everyone Is So Quick Compare Struggles Between Different Minority Groups

In the wake of the mass shootings in Atlanta that killed eight people – including six Asian women – basketball pro Jeremy Lin tweeted “to my Asian American family” about his heartbreak and deep concern. While the shooting suspect’s motive has not been made public, Lin is no stranger to the anti-Asian sentiment that has been on the rise since the pandemic began. Lin is best known for generating “Linsanity” when he led a winning turnaround with the New York Knicks in 2012. Just before the deadly attack in Atlanta, he spoke with Michel Martin about racism in sports as part of Exploring Hate – our ongoing series on antisemitism, racism, and extremism.

Eddie Huang Opens Up On Racism Towards Asian Community, Pop Smoke, And Leaving ‘Fresh Off The Boat’

Producer, director & personality Eddie Huang sat down with Ebro in the Morning for an honest conversation about racism against the Asian community following the shooting at massage parlors in Atlanta. He also discussed some of the experiences he has had himself, and its effects in the community.

He also spoke about the passing of Pop Smoke, solidarity among different races in Los Angeles, his decision to leave the show ‘Fresh off the Boat,’ and more.

He directs the film, ‘Boogie’ which is in theaters now.

Meghan McCain Apologizes For Previously Backing Trump’s Anti-Asian Rhetoric

Meghan McCain, cohost of “The View,” expressed regret about her previous comments that supported former President Trump’s anti-Asian rhetoric.

“STOP ASIAN HATE” she tweeted, punctuating her message with three broken-heart emojis.

Thousands responded to her post with likes. But for TV host John Oliver, who opened Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” by placing the shootings in the context of anti-Asian racism in U.S. history, McCain’s actions rang hollow.

Pointing to a clip from a March 2020 episode of “The View,” in which McCain said she had no problem with then-President Trump referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus,” the British comedian said McCain’s post was “a fine sentiment to throw up on Twitter after the fact.”

“But there has to be an understanding that saying, ‘I don’t have a problem with calling it the China virus’ is very much giving space for that hate to grow,” Oliver added.

His segment prompted McCain to issue a statement Monday morning.

“I condemn the reprehensible violence and vitriol that has been targeted towards the Asian-American community,” she wrote in a message shared on Twitter. “There is no doubt Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric fueled many of these attacks and I apologize for any past comments that aided that agenda.”

After an official described the Atlanta shooter’s decision to kill eight people as “a really bad day for him,” McCain again took to Twitter. “You know who it was also a bad day for?” she wrote March 17. “The eight people and their families who this man killed!”

“Stop giving radicalized white men different allowances than any of us would have,” McCain added. “When I have a bad day, I eat ice cream and watch Tommy Boy, not gun down innocent people. Bulls—!”

Amid a rise in violence against Asians and Asian Americans, Hollywood voices have rallied behind the #StopAsianHate campaign. Actor Daniel Dae Kim has been particularly vocal, testifying last week at a congressional hearing on anti-Asian hate incidents in the U.S. And “Killing Eve” star Sandra Oh participated in a rally over the weekend.

“For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful for everyone willing to listen,” Oh said at Saturday’s demonstration in Pittsburgh.

Source: LA Times

Georgia Sheriff’s Captain Jay Baker No Longer Spokesman On Atlanta’s Spa Shooting Case; Facebook Posts Surface Of Racist COVID-19 Shirts

A Cherokee County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson came under fire Wednesday afternoon for pinning the deadly Tuesday shooting rampage that left eight dead—including six Asian women—on a 21-year-old white man’s “really bad day.”

“Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Jay Baker said during the joint news conference with the Atlanta Police Department about 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long.

But it seems the same spokesperson shared racist content online, including pointing the finger at China for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—the same vitriol advocates say has fueled a horrific surge in violence against Asian Americans.

In a Facebook page associated with Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, several photos show the law enforcer was promoting T-shirts with the slogan “COVID-19 imported virus from CHY-NA.”

“Place your order while they last,” Baker wrote with a smiley face on a March 30 photo that included the racist T-shirts.

“Love my shirt,” Baker wrote in another post in April 2020. “Get yours while they last.’”

The shirts appear to be printed by Deadline Appeal, owned by a former deputy sheriff from Cherokee County, and sold for $22. The store, which promotes fully customizable gear, also appears to print shirts for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, a “ceremonial unit, all volunteers, who represent not only the Sheriff’s Office but also the county when participating in a variety of events,” according to a March 10 Instagram post.

The photos on Baker’s account were first spotted by a Twitter user.

Multiple photos on the Facebook page show Baker in his uniform and attending sheriff’s department functions, including one with his name tag clearly visible. Baker did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his personal cell phone and to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s office.

When contacted by The Daily Beast, Sheriff Frank Reynolds, who appears to be friends with Baker on Facebook, said he was not familiar with the racist photos.

“I am not aware of that. I will have to contact him, but thank you for bringing that to my attention,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds’ official sheriff’s department page lists as part of his prior experience a 2005 to 2008 stint at the Department of State described entirely in abbreviations: WPPS HTP, IC BWUSA. This would appear to stand for Worldwide Personal Protective Services, a contract the federal government granted the independent contractor Blackwater USA. His campaign page alludes to work in Iraq without naming his employer. But an apparent Reynolds supporter and fellow member of the department shared an image on Facebook of then-candidate’s security clearance so as to dispel rumors that he had a criminal record in 2016. The image, naming Reynolds, showed a contract number corresponding to an indefinite arrangement the State Department inked with Blackwater to provide security guards and control services in 2005.

Blackwater became infamous after its private guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007. There is at present no evidence linking Reynolds to that incident, and he did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

The massacre at three Asian massage parlors comes amid a shocking wave of anti-Asian violence in the United States. Authorities say Long, the suspect in the grisly crimes, insisted he was not intentionally targeting people of Asian descent. Still, police—including Baker—said the investigation was ongoing and the murders could still be categorized as a hate crime.

The fact that Long allegedly targeted Asian massage parlors and killed a half-dozen Asian women has spurred uproar online and among community leaders. Nearly 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate were reported between March 2020 and last month, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition documenting discrimination during the pandemic.

During a Wednesday news conference, Baker seemed to downplay Long’s alleged actions, telling reporters the 21-year-old attributed the crimes to his “sexual addiction” issues. Baker said Long targeted the spas to “take out that temptation.”

Baker’s adopted brother, Anthony Baker, is a Georgia Superior Court judge—and, according to a profile published in January, was born in Vietnam to a woman there who had married an American soldier.

Source: The Daily Beast, VladTV

Asian Hip Hop Record Label 88rising Gets Slammed For Posting Yellow Square On Instagram After Atlanta Shooting

88rising, an Asian American media company, apologized late Wednesday for posting a yellow square to its Instagram page in a clumsy attempt to call attention to the recent spate of anti-Asian violence — including Tuesday’s mass shooting outside Atlanta.

“Thank you to our community for sharing your comments and critiques with us,” said a statement that took the post’s place. “It was never our intention to cause harm, but we recognize the effects of our actions and apologize.”

The original post was criticized for co-opting the black squares that filled Instagram last summer during the height of protests against police brutality and systemic racism against Black people.

The company, which provides management and video production as well as operates a record label and marketing company, insisted that its intentions were pure. “We are not trying to start a yellow square movement, though we understand how it was misinterpreted,” it said in a new statement.

Not only did 88rising draw backlash not only for seeming to piggyback on the show of solidarity associated with Black Lives Matter, but many noted that the black squares were roundly dismissed by organizers last summer as being unhelpful to the cause.

Others said they initially thought the yellow square must be a joke and were shocked to see 88rising actually post one — even after the deadly attack outside Atlanta that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent.

Moreover, many regard “yellow” as a slur leveled at people of Asian descent — while the term Black is a widely accepted racial category as defined by the U.S. Census.

“Enough is enough. Heartbroken with the disgusting and senseless violence in Georgia tonight,” read the caption of the original post, which has been deleted. “Violence against the Asian community has to stop. Let’s protect each other and stand against hate.”

Source: TheWrap

After Being Cut Twice, Atlanta Falcons Kicker Younghoe Koo On Track To Make First Pro Bowl

Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo is having an outstanding 2020 season and looks to be on track to make his first Pro Bowl.

Thus far, Koo has converted on 96 percent of his kicks, making 24 out of 25 field goals. He’s a perfect 5-for-5 on his attempts from 50 yards or more, trailing only Jason Sanders of the Jets.

Koo joined the Falcons in 2019 after the team parted ways with long-time veteran, Matt Bryant. Koo went 23-for-26 the rest of the way and made it a point in the offseason to become more consistent with his kicks.

That hard work looks to be paying off for Koo, as for the 26-year-old leads all NFC kickers in Pro Bowl voting.

Source: The Falcons Wire

Atlanta Hawks unveil trio of new 2020-21 uniforms with franchise’s classic colors and updated wordmarks

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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks today revealed new uniforms, inspired by the franchise’s signature colors and marks synonymous with the team and its history in the city of Atlanta since 1968. In addition to the uniforms, the team also released new primary and secondary logos along with new ‘Atlanta Hawks’ wordmarks. The team will begin wearing these uniforms to start the 2020-21 season.

Infinity Black and Legacy Yellow rejoin Torch Red and Granite Gray to create a visual identity derived from the Hawks proud heritage. These core colors have been present throughout the Hawks’ time in Atlanta, having adorned more than five decades of Hawks Basketball including Hawks Legends Lou Hudson, Pete Maravich, Dikembe Mutombo and Dominique Wilkins.

Source: NBA

When the NBA returns it may use ‘NBA 2K’ for crowd noise to simulate fans in empty Orlando arenas

Pelicans Lakers Basketball

The NBA appears to be back, as both players and owners have approved the league’s 22-team proposal to resume play in Orlando, Florida on July 31 — but the games we eventually see will be much different than anything we’ve grown accustomed to. There will be social distancing, masks and smaller, non-NBA arenas. The most immediately noticeable difference, however, will likely be the lack of fans in the stands.

So what will the NBA do? Well, the league is considering using crowd noise from the popular video game, NBA 2K, to simulate fans during games in Orlando, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. He added that the league and the NBPA are still discussing creative options.

Source: Engadget